June 24th, 2010
11:42 AM ET

Latest developments on Gen. David Petraeus

Here are the latest developments involving Gen. David Petraeus, who has been chosen to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. McChrystal was relieved of duty after he and his staff made comments in a Rolling Stone magazine article that appear to mock top civilian officials, including the vice president.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

- Petraeus said Thursday that he supports President Obama's July 2011 deadline to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Petraeus' comments to CNN's Dana Bash were his first public remarks since being tapped as the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

- Petraeus' confirmation hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning, according to a statement from Senate Armed Services Committee.

 PREVIOUSLY REPORTED

- The top U.S. military official said he backs the president's decision to remove McChrystal from his command post. "I'm very supportive of the president's decision," Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said at a Washington event Thursday.

- Karl Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, said Thursday that McChrystal apologized to him for disparaging remarks in the article about Eikenberry and other officials.

- Defense Secretary Robert Gates backed keeping McChrystal on the job because he was vital to the war effort in Afghanistan, but he was overruled, a senior Pentagon official told CNN's Barbara Starr. The official has direct knowledge of the events but declined to be identified because of the internal administration discussions.

- NATO's acting commander in Afghanistan insisted Thursday there is no change in the Afghanistan mission in the wake of McChrystal's firing. "We remain absolutely focused on our tasks and the operational tempo will not miss a beat," said Lt. Gen. Sir Nick Parker, who assumed command pending approval of Petraeus' nomination by Congress.

- The spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Wednesday that "we will respect" Obama's decision to name a new U.S. military commander in Afghanistan. The spokesman, Waheed Omar, called Petraeus "an obvious choice" to take over from McChrystal.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Barack Obama • Gen. Stanley McChrystal • Military • Security Brief • U.S. • World
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. jon

    Get our troops out of the Middle East – especially Afghanistan. Cut the defense budget in half and stop occupying places all over the globe. We have way too many problems at home to be the Watchmen of the World.

    June 24, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I agree 100% to your thoughts Jon. We need to get out of all these countries (183) and let them defend their self and buy armament from us to keep the war makers happy. This is all what Eisenhower said back in 1961 just before he left office. The Military Industrial Complex will control our government and the little people will suffer. It has been dubbling ever since every 10 years. We can't afford this steeling from the people who pay taxes and give to the ones that don't (The ultra Rich!).

      June 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • TB

      And when the Taliban gives sanctuary to Al Queda to again create training camps, then what? Remember too that the Taliban's tentacles reach into Pakistan (a nuclear power) as well. Complex problems aren't solved with simple answers.

      June 24, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      We can't afford this steeling from the people who pay taxes and give to the ones that don't (The ultra Rich!).

      You obviously dont know the tax brackets in the United States. The more you make the more you pay. Its the poor on welfare that dont pay and steal from the people that do pay taxes.

      June 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      ... and if there is an organization, anywhere in the world, that directly treatens the safety and security of the USA, we send in drones and bomb them, with accuracy and precision, back into the B.C. (Altogether: "All you need is DRONES, tra-ta-ta-ta-ta – using Beatles motive...)

      June 24, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      I agree, lets get out of the Middle East, too bad Afghanistan is in Asia. I am a soldier curently fighting, yes actually fighting as an infantry man, in Afghanistan. I believe that there are way too many restrictions on us to do our job effectively. All I do day in and day out is walk aroun the mountains of this country waiting to get shot at. The rules in place keep us from stopping something before it starts. I have already lost a friend here because the helicopter pilots scouldn't fire on a group of Taliban because it might cause civilian casulities. So as Americans, we would rather one of our own soldiers to die than one of a hostile nation. If these people really wanted to get rid of the Taliban they would help instead of running into their house before an attack happens, and they know when one is about to happen before we do. I have come across only one tribe, the Mongols, that is on our side. This tribe has held off the Taliban for us twice. Their rival tribe, the Mocbals, are known supporters of the Taliban and because of these ISAF rules we can't do anything about it, but the Mongols can and they do. For the past 2 nights the Mongols have been in the process of wiping out the entire village of Mocbals.
      With these ISAF rules we have our hands tied. We have to roll out with the ANA, Afghanistan National Army, on every mission, and they are not to our caliber as soldiers. We try to be sneaky at night and they have their phones out playing music and smoking "Hashish". They are high all the time and there is nothing we can do about it.
      Our hands are tied as US Soldiers. There needs to be a change. We can't continue this way or this war will turn out just like Vietnam. We are the United States of America, we are the most powerful country in the world, lets act like it.

      June 24, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      Sean, my heart goes out to you. Be safe. I pray for all our fighting men to come home safe. What you say is completely correct. We should help those who fight our enemies, but our troops should stay at home. If someone wants to treaten USA – bomb them back to the Stone Age, where they really belong. Every American serviceman's life is precious. We need you, guys, here, as economical recovery begins to gain momentum. As for those who want to challenge America – let's build more DRONES!

      June 26, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bruce

    Yes comrade. Let's do that so we are no longer a world power. You're an idiot.

    June 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. john

    Well, we have pretty much put our cards on the table and it looks like we are folding. The Taliban are very pleased with these developments. I blame both sides on this one. Our Pres should have been more decisive earlier and our generals should keep their opinions to themselves.

    June 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. db

    Of course he "officially" supports the 2011 pullout. He saw what happened to McChrystal, and he's smart enough not to suffer the same fate.

    June 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. wyominguy

    The whole situation clearly shows a moral problem at upper Military levels. A pull out date is just what the Taliban want, and shows poor judgment on the Presidents part. Meanwhile US troops are being shot and killed while the enemy waits for us to leave in disgrace. This will turn out badly Im afraid and the Military Pro's can see the handwriting on the wall.

    June 24, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. thhhhhhhhhh

    I guess obama thinks military coups only happen in other countries

    June 24, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • RepublicanWithAMind

      Is this a threat against the President of the United States of America?

      June 24, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kurt

    Get our troops out of Afghanistan. This is Obama's war. It's the wrong war , in the wrong place,with a failing strategy by a now desperate administration. We can no longer afford to pay for this President's mistakes in foreign strategies. It is time to concentrate on solving our economic problems at home and to quit spending money on ill conceived foreign adventures.

    June 24, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      bush started the war in 2001 and ran it into the ground for 7 years afterward. Obama has been in charge for what, a little over a year? and you think you can call it Obama's ill conceived foreign adventure? so did you just recently come out of a coma or something?

      June 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • RepublicanWithAMind

      How is this President Obama's war? He was not the one who started it and regardless of how delusional you and others are, he is forced with the task of cleaning it up. Now as for the pull out, I vote we bring our kids home & send people like you with all the answers, shame and blame over there in stead.

      June 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. prgmgr

    Yes – Lets pull out of Afghanistan completely Jon. Then we can watch their society return to a medieval one, disallowing human rights, being ran by drug growers/pushers. A society without basic education. A society so censored, that they have no understanding of foreign perspectives. A society that will forever be a huge pool of anti-western radicals that will continue to martyr themselves in the name of Islam while taking innocent lives all the way.

    June 24, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      are you aware that Afghanistan has been producing bumper crops of heroin during the US occupation? If they want human rights, education and to be rid of the Taliban (which they do my the way), that change has to come fro the inside. the US cannot transplant revolutions.

      June 24, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sam

    So what, we should continue to prop up a corrupt government that refuses to work with us on a whole slew of crucial issues? I think not.

    TB, al quaeda is active in 52 different countries all across the world, including in the England, Canada and Mexico. Should we invade and occupy them too? Give me a break. We should know this all too well from Vietnam and our own revolutionary war: a big expensive imperialistic military cannot do anything against native guerrilla warfare. the "war on terror" is an absolute joke.

    June 24, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Johnny Five

    Adm Mullen better watch his tone. You don't agree or disagree with the president! He'll end up in Rolling Stone next.

    June 24, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • RepublicanWithAMind

      I love how people who have never served a day in their lives and obviously don't have a son or daughter who is fighting so they can have the free speech they so easily waste on lies, fear-mongering, and hate think this is about President Obama "getting his feelings hurt." Military personnel swear to an oath & live and die by those codes. I wish people like you had to do the same.

      June 24, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • MAT

      RepublicanWithAMind
      It is a civilian run Army. Thats why we have a say. Did you serve to take that away. Your comment is twofaced.

      June 24, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • ImForMandatoryService

      The code we live and die by as service members apply to everyone. This includes article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

      Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

      Our military is ultimately controlled by civilians, yes. Codes like Article 88 ensure that this concept is adhered to by all members of the armed forces. Gen. McChrystal served honorably and with distinction over a very long career. However, he showed poor judgement and violated the code put in place to protect that concept of civilian control. Like all members of our armed forces, he has to answer for his actions.

      I understand and support your right to free speech, I even serve to protect it. That does NOT mean you should throw up your "free speech" flag every time someone points out how uninformed what you're saying is. Perhaps a little research into what freedom of speech actually means would be good for you.

      June 25, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • ImForMandatoryService

      Additionally, I would like to point out your misconception of what a civilian-led Army actually is. We live in a democratic republic. Your "control" over the Army goes as far as voting for representation in both the legislative body and the President.

      The elected President appoints a Secretary of Defense and a Secretary of the Army as well as combatant commanders that all need to be approved by the elected legislators. A good civilian leader makes policies and strategies that pertain to the military on the advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff... the top ranking leader in each branch of service. No civilian, not you nor Obama nor Bush, is going to step into office with a clear concept of how to conduct military operations on a global scale. The Joint Chiefs provide the guidance needed to make decisions.

      Your involvement in this process ended in the ballot booth. If you don't like how things are going now, you can exercise your right to vote for someone who may run things differently. This is all information taught in our public schools by the way. It is also available at your public library.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hal

    Many people act like we’ve just arrived in Afghanistan. In reality, we’ve been there over 8 years. What has been accomplished? Has an Afghan army been raised and trained? How about a police force? Has the drug trade been interdicted and stopped? Is there a strong and stable government in place? The fact is, not a whole lot has been done. American troops are dying and being maimed, but not much else. I am of the opinion that if we have not able to achieve our goals in 8 years, we never will. The established of terrorist training camps seems to be an issue—why I don’t know. Because if Al Queda can’t use Afghanistan, they’ll go to Pakistan. Or Syria. Or Iran. Or Africa. I honestly don’t see how chasing Abdul around the mountains of Afghanistan looking for a cache of AK-47’s is going to protect the U.S.

    June 24, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Michael in Phoenix

    The second we leave everything will start reverting back. All our efforts will be for nothing. The females will lose all the rights they have. Since they found riches under the soil others will come in and take over.

    Plant the flag and say it is ours. The people will be better off.

    June 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. prgmgr

    sam – you don't get it. The reason the government is corrupt is due to the countries own poverty. If you can assist in developing a nation with an educational system, open lines of communications – industry can begin to prosper and the society can become self sufficient without resorting to opiate cultivation as their primary means of economic sustainably.

    June 24, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. America First

    Let's face it, if Obama didn't let McChrystal go, Republicans would be complaing THAT was wrong. Republicans don't know what to think until Obama takes a position they can be opposed to.

    June 24, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. gg

    We should pull all the troops stationed overseas. Keep treaties with those countries in order to use the old bases and their airspace in case of need. Use the savings to rebuild our infrastructure and revitalize our defenses. In case of serious threat by a foreign power use all our military might to include tactical nuclear weapons or full nuclear attack if warranted. Why bleed ourselves and waste our wealth fighting the old fashioned way?
    Create jobs by producing goods here in this country, instead of buying from China. If they end up costing more, at least people will have good paying jobs to buy them. China is becoming the richest country in the world and will be our next security threat.

    June 24, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
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